When I got this Gwen Stacy toy in the mail in 2020, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a Mary Jane toy out of that extra head. I could’ve just bought an extra Gwen, but outside of Kirsten Dunst’s outfit in the 2002 Spider-Man film (which I took as director Sam Raimi probably saying, “I wanted to make this character Gwen but Marvel wouldn’t let me”), I don’t think MJ would be caught wearing Gwen’s signature fashion.
There aren’t a TON of “civilian” clothing options in the Marvel Legends toy line, so my options were limited. And besides, outside of a black tanktop and jeans or khakis, Mary Jane doesn’t really have a “signature” look — And Hasbro’s already made that MJ a few times. The easiest thing to do would be just buy the Toys “R” Us-exclusive Mary Jane & Spider-Man 2-pack, and swap the heads — The MJ in that set just had a recycled Black Widow head, anyways. But that set was going for $80, which was the cost of FOUR Marvel Legends figures at the time. And then I’d have an extra Spidey laying around… Although, I would get the Peter Parker head, and extra Spidey hands that my Retro-carded “Pizza Slice!”-action Spidey didn’t come with. So, no, I’ll just use parts from some pre-existing ML figures and make my own MJ.
But that still didn’t answer the question of what she should be wearing.
And then I remembered that Mary Jane had a standard look in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series, complete with a yellow sweater and lavender jeans.
Okay, that sweater-turtleneck combo is pretty unique. I wonder if there are any figures that have that look? Well hey, the NETFLIX DAREDEVIL Elektra figure has a vest over a turtleneck. That’s pretty close! And I found an opened Elektra on eBay without the Man-Thing Build-A-Figure part or the Sai. But I did get both heads, so… yay?
So far, so good! But what about those puffy sleeves? I’m gonna need to find a female figure that has… sleeves?
Well! Okay then. I ordered myself another bomber jacket Captain Marvel (which means I have an extra goose and an extra Kree Sentry Build-A-Figure arm, dammit).
I put all the pieces together, and got started:
Pretty good! She wasn’t going to have the cowboy boots, but I was okay with that. The outfit looks silly enough, I don’t mind MJ wearing some different shoes. I gave her the wedge boots from an Invisible Woman I bought for another project…And then I got hung up on the hands. I just could NOT find any extra bare, caucasian hands anywhere. Eventually, I settled on paying way too much for a pair of hands from eBay. I put all the pieces together, and…
….then I realized that the turtleneck is supposed to be pink, not the same lavender as her pants. Ugh! And the figure’s hair color was WAY too dark. That’s okay, she just needed some paint.
I added the buttons on the sweater, the button on the jeans, and painted her nails. I also added a VERY SUBTLE red wash to her cheeks, to give her a bit of a blush. And finally, this project was complete:
Now my Mary Jane figure is COMPLETELY distinct from Gwen, and it only cost me parts from… four figures.
Fuck. I should’ve just bought that two-pack and swapped the Mary Jane heads.
Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Captain Marvel, Elektra, and all related characters are owned by Marvel Comics.